Wage levels in NCR are lowest in the last decade

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The real value of wages in the National Capital Region (NCR) is lower today, compared to the first year of Benigno Aquino III’s regime in 2016. The Ibon Foundation said the real value today of the minimum wage of ₱610 in the national capital is only ₱510, due to the relentless rise of commodity prices and the increase in the charge of basic utilities.

Compared to this, the real wage was ₱538 in 2016. Thus, the real wage is 7% lower today compared to then, Ibon said.

In the past 34 years, wage increases in the NCR have not kept pace with inflation. The real value of today’s wage is virtually the same as the real wage in 1989, when the minimum wage in the region was only ₱89.

Workers and their families struggle with poverty wages and need an immediate large wage increase to bring immediate relief from the rising cost of goods and services, the group said. The current minimum wage in NCR is only half of the family living wage of ₱1,197 (May 2024) for a family of five.

Wage increases come very late compared to the increase in productivity of workers, it said. From 2000 to 2023, worker productivity grew by 62% but the minimum wage increased by only 9%. Thus, capitalists have been repressing the value of workers’ labor power in order to extract even greater profits.

AB: Wage levels in NCR are lowest in the last decade